Revolutionary and innovative technology has been progressively integrated into modern-day society over the past two decades. So many people are becoming dependent on various gadgets that its clear addictions are forming. With everyone trying to come out with the next big thing by manipulating complex, intricate codes in electronics and rushing to beat competitors, the simpler things in life have slowly dissipated in popularity. Young adults and children both rely on technology to have a good time. Unfortunately, all I feel for them is sympathy, because the time they spend tapping a screen to entertain themselves is a time that they could have spent having the best time of their lives on the greatest device ever — the trampoline.
Many people would think that just seeing the best trampolines would instill fear in my heart from the brutal training I endured from spending five days a week practicing as a cheerleader and working out at a gymnastics gym for years growing up. Strangely, I find comfort in them. Trampolines have seen my finest moments and some of my rather unsightly incidents, so there are plenty of memories associated with them. Beginning as a kindergartner learning the basics and developing into an innovative college student trying to create a new tumbling pass, I’ve realized that I have always had an affinity towards trampolines.
Since they are essentially giant bouncy canvases with the ability to launch people to great heights, precautions certainly need to be taken due to the risk associated with trampolines. Most of the trampolines I practiced and played on didn’t have a net, and with my background in acrobatics, I likely should have had one. I have fallen from over-twisting or over-calculating various flips, tucks, and turns on a trampoline some times. However, the number of times I have fallen off of a trampoline from inaccurately evaluating the amount of room I had is much greater.
I remember a particular occurrence when I was first learning to do connecting standing back-handsprings many years ago. At the time, my tumbling was severely undercut. Because of this, I was able to practice on the shorter, bouncier trampoline, which made it less strenuous with the number of repetitions I had to do. The moment I finally figured out how to stretch out my back handsprings was also the moment I figured out how much power I could generate with the right form. These two aspects of tumbling came together to project my tiny body ten feet away causing me to land flat on my face. I wiped away my tears not too long after the intense pain subsided, but those tears quickly returned when I looked in the mirror and realized that I was missing a front tooth and a little pink nerve was exposed. Just two weeks later I returned to the gym after getting a dental bonding procedure done; not even an incident as horrific as this one could keep me away from trampolines.
My experience with trampolines goes beyond the most common type of trampoline found in gymnastics gyms and backyards. I have had the privilege to also experiment on Olympic, water, and rebounder trampolines. The Olympic trampoline is designed for athletes to build power and height and is bigger is size than most trampolines. I tried to avoid training on this trampoline simply because it was unnecessary for my sport, and the dangers of not having proper control or knowledge about it are serious. Each time I have simply jumped on this type of trampoline I have been thrown to great heights with little effort. This combined with my past experiences with injury was asking for trouble.
Next, one of my favorite types of trampolines is the water trampoline, and the main reason behind this is that I never had to complete drills or conditioning on it. The only time’s water trampolines were available to me were during trips to the lake. Being the shameless, versatile, attention-seeker that I was, I would always show off what I learned from all those merciless years of training. Today, I love watching old home videos showcasing the genuine joy I had flipping around in a lifejacket on a massive water trampoline. Being introduced to the recreational water trampoline was revolutionary considering my history of humiliating falls; I could worry less about knocking teeth out if I flew off the edge.
Staying in shape isn’t as easy as it was when I was being forced to work out by drill sergeant-like coaches. On my college campus, I’ve found it difficult to keep interest in the “normal” gym equipment like the treadmills and barbells. Being accustomed to working out with bars, mats, and of course trampolines, it was challenging to try anything else. Fortunately, the rebound trampoline made its way into my life. I had seen these exercise trampolines in my gymnastics gym before in the preschool classes, but I neglected ever to consider using one. After attending classes offered at the gym and watching workout videos using these trampolines, I’ve found a new way to incorporate my past into my workouts and still have a great time.
Throughout my years I have established an unbreakable relationship with trampolines, and I wish more people had the opportunity to experience the euphoria that they bring. I have made countless memories from my childhood up until now associated with the trampoline, and it hurts my heart to think that people are missing out on this opportunity. Every year the amounts of time that children and adults spend being active declines and not many people are doing anything about it. A trampoline is inexpensive and simple compared to new forms of entertainment, and it is also a great way to get younger generations to exercise. I’ve benefited greatly from my experiences with trampolines in cheer leading, gymnastics, trips, and exercise, and I will continue to be an advocate encouraging others to try out the trampoline so they can benefit from it, too.